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A society at war with itself


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-Illustration by Faraz Khan/

The professional Muslim Ulema of Pakistan have influenced our thinking so much that we see everything in religious terms. We keep a keen record of “atrocities against Muslims” but we ignore the enemy within who hides behind Islam. Earlier, we used to see two centres of evil: India and Israel but with time they have increased to include America and Europe. Iran is rapidly moving away because of our growing sectarianism and it is hard to name any real friend – Saudi Arabia and China are our ‘friends’ only in the sense that they are not enemies. They have excellent relations with our enemies and do not support us in our disputes with India and America, or in our red-hot anger against Israel.

We strongly believe that in our 65 years of national life, we have been attacked five times by India, once by Russia, that we are “spiritually” fighting America for the last 12 years, that we fought our East Wing and lost it because of Indian aggression which the world supported because of the bias established by Indian propaganda. We believe that we were always on the right side, that we were persecuted.

It was always hard for us to ask: are we really so innocent and so persecuted? Why does the world hate us? All these 65 years we have been teaching our students that one billion Hindus hate us because they are bigoted and jealous of our merit. It has been considered unpatriotic to ask why we failed to befriend them in 700 years.

War is a tragedy but we refuse to see that a society at war with itself is an abomination. We love to talk of “we”, but we are “we” only in hate against “others”; when it comes to sacrifice or service, everyone is an individual.

War is a tragedy because it tries to achieve an objective through use of force and destruction. Even when it ends in one’s victory, it does not end; it sows the seeds of future wars because those who are vanquished and disgraced never forget the wounds of defeat. Their collective memory passes to posterity generation after generation and nourishes the desire to avenge. Our subcontinent remained in a state of war for centuries between the Muslims kings and a resisting India. A narrow class of Muslim victors in India won prosperity and power but the large Indian population suffered the tragedy of defeat and suffering for all these centuries, while Muslim masses had no share of victory except vain pride and widespread ignorance. This history of war has left an aching scar on both sides of our people. It is partially, if not wholly, responsible for the lingering misery of our masses on both sides. Although for several reasons we in Pakistan refuse to see, the fact is that India started its recovery only after 1947, Bangladesh only after 1971 while we have yet to start.

As a result of this war, Muslims remained a medieval-minded crowd for centuries, taking pride in their ability to wield the sword, until the Aligarh University movement of modern learning started some change. But we, in Pakistan, never questioned our Civilizational Narcissism which keeps breeding new tragedies of paranoia and chaos. The legacy of centuries of war never leaves us. Both the nations have spent, since 1947, trillions annually on meaninglessly large armies and arms-building, keeping their masses in misery, stupor and barren hate. The total resources spent by both amount to a sum that could have brought us to modern European levels of life and learning, had we spent them productively.

War is a tragedy but a society at war with itself and everything around, with no objective and no remorse is more than a tragedy; it is a total disaster. Our society with its special mindset is at war with itself and the world, with other religions and its own religious diversity. It is in a state of schizophrenia passing into paranoia. The roots of this mindset lie in our narcissism, in our self image of righteousness. We do not take criticism and never feel sorry for our wrongs. A semi-educated boy can start yelling at you if you point out a mistake.

It is a depressing state of affairs. Many sensitive patriots have lost all hope that health can be restored. Ever since 1947, the nation has been moving down the slope. Each period has left us more frustrated and hopeless. Every time we discover that standards have fallen further. But that is not how human societies should move in this age of immense opportunity.

It is right to reject what was wrong in the past but it is not right to predict that the wrong will continue forever. Admitted that it is our special ability as humans that we conduct mass destruction; this special ability is a tragic aspect of our mind but that same mind is capable of science, wisdom, tolerance and inclusiveness. We can perhaps halt destruction by practicing and preaching critical thinking with humility. Human societies all around us are growing and developing. Why can’t our land of disaster outgrow its roots? And do we have an option other than trying?

Listen to this in Urdu

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The author is a renowned Pakistani intellectual. His urdu books Tehzeebi Nargisyat and Mubaalghe, Mughaalte are widely regarded as the revival of critical thinking and free inquiry in Urdu non-fiction.


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (158) Closed

Yogesh Jan 29, 2013 12:47pm
An amazing article. Hats off to the author.
Sanwal Saraiki Jan 29, 2013 12:34pm
Its all due to American invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. Before 9/11 there was no such problem and interference from Afghanistan or Tribal areas. We had nothing like suicide bombers we are facing now. America is safe but it has made us unsafe. Musharraf was responsible for joining this unholy war against a brother Muslim country. He should be tried and punished for Kargil and Afghan wars.
AHA Jan 29, 2013 11:48am
A masterpiece. We have never been truthful to ourselves. The biggest lies are the lies we say to ourselves. Open debate, and shortening the list of our dogmas, is the only way forward.
rukhsanashama Jan 29, 2013 11:55am
I was lost with words to describe the gradual decay and fall of our soceity since its inception and the fundamentals which had lead to this. Your article has provided me with just the right word i.e. civilizational narcissim- i never realized it would be called 'tehzeebi nargasiat' in urdu, though-. Yes you are right that's exaclty has led us to this sorry state of affairs and what other choice do we have but to try making it correct by inculcating critical thinking with value of being humane!
krishnan Jan 29, 2013 11:34am
I admire your honesty .Hope others understand and do not brand you a traitor.
reader Jan 29, 2013 11:29am
Well said Sir.
Sh(india) Jan 29, 2013 12:10pm
hating india,israel,usa wont stop any killings in pakistan. As an atheist in my own country the number of atheists are increasing. Atheists are not liked in islamic countries as islam prohibits from leaving the religion.I am not here to give lessons as i am stating the facts. Islamophobia increases when religion clashes with the functioning of a state. Muslims will only be safe in muslim counries only as long as they are in majority. When they r in minority they impose their values on others by asking sharia. as an atheist i dont like any religious laws governing any country. This hate against muslims will increase in the near furture.
citizen Jan 29, 2013 12:04pm
very good article. The problem with Hindus are that they continue to take false pride in History but doing little to remove present shortcomings. Still Hindus are more tolerant of criticism and are moving ahead. The Muslims in India on other hand always feel of being victim. They are ready to fight for hurt sentiments on minor issues and but doing all wrongs. They rarely fight or even protest for real issues of poverty, education & population control. hope less situation.
Amit Jan 29, 2013 12:03pm
Congratulations sir.. ur thought has reached accross the border. Great article. Thanks.
Chaman Jan 29, 2013 01:11pm
What an insight. The best analysis on Pakistani Pscyche ever presented. I hope the people in Pakistan reflect on this analysis and summon the courage to shape future with a renewed mind set. I sincerely hope that this article gets published in all news papers in Pakistan. Haider Bhai, you truly are a great intellectual. Hope I get a chance to meet with you personally. I wish there were more people like you in the subcontinent. The area would be a heaven for all.
Subhash Malik Jan 29, 2013 01:14pm
Outstanding piece, amazinginly honest and bereft of any frills. How I wish someone on the other side of the border had the courage for such brutal honesty. How I wish the educated people of Pakistan get the government they deserve. I have met enough Pakistanis to know that as people, we are very very similar. But the two countries took off in different directions after partition and that is not people's fault. Kudos to the writer for inviting reflection.
NASAH (USA) Jan 29, 2013 01:19pm
Pakistan needs lots of Mobarak Haiders to find its "Siratul Mustaqeem".
Capt C M Khan Jan 29, 2013 01:20pm
"Many sensitive patriots have lost all hope that health can be restored". I am one of them Mr Haider....add the culture of.... Corruption.... Hypocrisy..... spitting Paan and we have a perfect path to self destruction..
preetinder singh Jan 29, 2013 01:41pm
I must salute this writer for so much independent and courageous writing. It is always difficult to find faults within us and we generally blame others for all our ills. Sir, you have great insights.....keep it up..Love from an Indian
HNY2013 Jan 29, 2013 01:44pm
All these 65 years we have been teaching our students that one billion Hindus hate us because they are bigoted and jealous of our merit. According The Future of the Global Muslim Population, as of 27 January 2011 the population of Muslims in India is 177,286,000 and that of Pakistan is 178,097,000. India took all the Muslims in its ranks (despite a few religious fanatics) and is now on way to become the third largest economy of the world. Even Bangladesh is speeding ahead.
Sanjay Saksena Jan 29, 2013 01:46pm
I salute you for your honesty and courage.I am reinded of Iqbal's line - zindagi shamma kee soorat ho khudaya meri.
Suren Krishnan Jan 29, 2013 01:54pm
What an illuminating piece of self analysis of the Pakistani psyche, though i think many Pakistanis will read it as self blame and not accept that they themselves are responsible for the malaise in criticising the Pakistani nations lack of progress However,Its good to know that there are many in Pakistan who are prepared to stand up and create a national awareness that all peoples of the world need to be paid respect and be embraced rather than being held in eternal suspicion. Is the writer sure that that he is not espousing the virtues of Vipassana meditation - a way of living that is anaethma to many Muslims
suneel Jan 29, 2013 02:41pm
very good article
Vikas Sharma Jan 29, 2013 02:43pm
Pakistan is suffering from collective autism.Unless it's people start considering religion as just one part of their identity,religious chauvinism will not let go of Pakistan,
Anup Jan 29, 2013 02:49pm
Anoop Jan 29, 2013 02:53pm
I am amused when some Pakistanis talk of Hindu oppression of Muslim before 1947. I usually reminded them Mughals and later Britishers ensured this was not true. Hindus never reached Political Maturity when both were in power. In fact even today there's no such as Hindus in power, unless you consider Manmohan Singh as a Hindu and Army Chief, a Sikh, as a Hindu; Sonia Gandhi, chief of the most powerful party in India and Defence Minister, both catholics, as Hindus. Its not to say that others but Hindus are in power, but a recognition of Indianness of Manmohan, Sonia, Anthony and others by ordinary Indians. For Indians, as long as the person is capable and efficient, they don't have a problem.
Shahzad Kazi Jan 29, 2013 02:58pm
Great article that says it like the way it is.
INDIAN Jan 29, 2013 03:02pm
Very well said. Good One
Krish Chennai Jan 29, 2013 03:06pm
Wow, the write-up sets one thinking, and listening to the Urdu version almost had me weeping with the song of Lata Mangeshkar "Ai merey watan ke logon, zara aankh mei bhar lo paani"
Indian Muslim Jan 29, 2013 03:21pm
Mobarak Sahab, what amazing insight. I cannot agree with you more at the fact that we Muslims are caught in a war with ourselves. Were caught in a war where we dont want to progress and have become extrinsic to a point where we dont even realize our shortcomings. I am sure any realistic Muslim, whether Indian or Pakistani will agree that we're far behind in terms of basic needs such as education and equality between men and women. I grew up with many Hindus and I can say with assurance that they are not after us or jealous of us. Any hatred thats being sowed is only through right wing extremists which is the same with Muslim extremists that blame the Hindus, Israelis and Americans for OUR inadequacies while backing up our modus operandi with the Quran and Hadith. We really need to stop complicating and interpreting Islam based on our needs and accept the fact that WE are our own biggest enemy and not the Hindus, Israelis and Americans.
American Jan 29, 2013 03:40pm
I am absolutely astounded by such a rational view expressed by this author... Is he the only person in Pakistan with a balanced view rooted on ground reality ?
vjaiswal35 Jan 29, 2013 03:45pm
Dear Sir, A very well knitted analytically written article. Every word describes the core of problem and offers a very meaningful suggestion. However I would like to point out one anomaly that most Pakistanis fail to appreciate. The writer has said " Both the nations have spent, since 1947, trillions annually on meaninglessly large armies and arms-building, keeping their masses in misery, stupor and barren hate." We must understand that India's defence expenditure is not Pakistan centric. Even when India and Pakistan will be best of friends India as emerging world power and with China it's next door neighbor will have compulsions to maintain an effective defence establishment. I wonder why Pakistan does not compete with China militarily or does not consider it in arming themselves?
aabdul Jan 29, 2013 03:46pm
Excellent analysis. Dawn does a great job again. When you read this article, an inescapable thought is that the obsession with religion led to this misery: it did much more so in Pakistan than in India or Bangladesh. It is futile to blame the weak, powerless Mullahs for this problem: the problem lies with the powerful military generals who used religious sentiments of the common man to hold onto power and derail democracy throughout its history. What a shame that the people of Pakistan still worship the military Generals who are considered to be worth at least 5 million dollars each.
Zain Jan 29, 2013 03:49pm
Though i agree to majority of the write up of the learned writer however somewhere the blog leaves an impression that writer is trying to justify Hindu bigoty by comparing it with the establishment of Mughal Dynasty. Wars that were fought after establishment of Mughal dynasty in hindustan were need of the hour at that time, mughals, obviously wanted to strengthen there hold in hindustan and for that purpose treated every one iron handly who ever raise there head. Even muslims on North West Frontier boarders of hindustan could not save themselves from sparks of war with Mughals. The Khattaks and Yousufzai's had to fought many wars with Mughal to maintain there freedom and integrity.
alex Jan 29, 2013 03:50pm
One wonders when these muslims scholars tell their followers that muslims came for better life to subcontinent and not to rule. This mindset is pervasive in many elderly people who cannot let go of the false pride! You live with others and not rule others. Muslims are not special.
PNayak Jan 29, 2013 04:03pm
Finally, a piece that seeks to answer some of the basic questions that no one dares to ask about the history of islamic civilization in the subcontinent. Hopefully, more of these questions will lead to basic questions about the "us" vs "them" mentality of islam and the victimhood mindset where everything that goes wrong in islamic society is due to external influences.
ghaleezguftar Jan 29, 2013 04:04pm
Criticising everything and everyone has become the popular rhetoric these days. Controversial topics get published very eagerly showing the level of commercialization and consumerism in our society. While most of our state institutions have failed to deliver, our literature hasn't been inspirational either. Everyone related to writing is bashing someone which is a sorry and apologetic scene. God bless us as we have failed.
Naveen Jan 29, 2013 04:04pm
Despite all the odds, the very fact that such Self-Criticism is being allowed is a sign that Freedom of media does exist in Pakistan. Kudos to the Pakistani Journalists and democratic state.
Pramod Jan 29, 2013 04:07pm
Hi Would like to share a recent incident. One of very close friend of mine from college time shared a photograph of 3 Muslim guys from 3 different races (Asian, negro and perhaps Arab).Message was something like this is Islam and had comments about how Islam does not discriminate and other religion Christianity and Hinduism has racism and castism. There were many likes and comments as well. I was just thinking whether what ever he has shared is true? I as Hindu know about the castism in Hinduism but I also know that its changing very fast.Things are much better than it was in 1970-80 and if not in few years from then in 15-20 years, things will be far better than today. Same i think I can say about Christianity. In Most of the christian country people from other countries are prospering well. The friend I am talking about himself is in UK now. He has called his brother as well. His religious feelings are respected there. As per my understanding about Islam, it has many sects and sub sects (Perhaps more than 50). Most of them consider themselves true Muslims and others inferior and in some case non-muslims as well. Sectarian violence is common between sects and even in sub sects to an extent that they want other sect to finish permanently. I could not write this to my friend as I thought it will hurt his feelings but I was thinking that as an educated guy, can't he see what's going around in the world.
Umesh Jan 29, 2013 04:08pm
Dear Author, This is the first time I see somebody going to the root cause of the whole issue. Hindus carry the scars of what Muslim rulers did to their forefathers, religion and culture. Yes, it is a clash of civilizations. If Muslims stick to the sword, then it is inevitable that Islam is rolled back to where it came from.
Tahira, USA Jan 29, 2013 04:22pm
I can assure you that in the sixty's, Pakistanis were loved, not hated. I met a Japanese scientist on a bus ride in Trieste. I was amazed when he labelled Pakistanis as the best people in the world. When I asked how so, he said he had spent time in Pakistan and found the people most cordial, extremely friendly and very generous. He said that every one treated him as a dear friend, from the very first meeting, rather than as a foreigner who may need some help. What we have to try to find out is how we lost that character and consequently the love of the world and try to mold ourselves in to the real Pakistani that we were at that time.
Bill Cowdrey Jan 29, 2013 04:42pm
"Why does the world hate us?" asks Mr. Mobarak Haider. I come across Pakistanis on the streets of America. They are intolerant, rude, and spiteful. Yes, they are self-righteous. That is the answer to the question posed by Mr. Haider.
rich Jan 29, 2013 04:50pm
a very thought provoking article, a very good read thank you sir
Dr.G.M.Kalmaty Baluch Jan 29, 2013 05:22pm
Excellent article to read and reflect on.
Rohit Jan 29, 2013 05:24pm
"It has been considered unpatriotic to ask why we failed to befriend them in 700 years."- the author seems to be speaking for all of Muslim population which is certainly not true. Indian muslims are friends with the Indian people and respect their nation. Other muslim countries have acceptable to good relations with India. I have often seen Pakistan taking a position to show off that it represents "muslims all around the world". Neither the muslim population nor the non-muslim world believes this. Important for some people to wake up from their dreams.
Realist Jan 29, 2013 05:25pm
Couldn't agree more Sir!
murali Jan 29, 2013 05:29pm
Very balanced and a courageous writing. DAWN deserves all the credit for having this published.
Ram Krishan Sharma Jan 29, 2013 05:30pm
Excellent . 100 % marks for this article . I hope All Pakistanis read this translated in Urdu .
Abdul Jan 29, 2013 05:37pm
Great writing
harikumar Jan 29, 2013 05:43pm
There has to be a way out. This madness cant continue for ever. The question is when. It is a real tragedy for both the nations. People with commonsense, like the writer, have to do every thing within their power to stop this madness. But if the Muslims and the Hindus continue to believe that one religion is superior to other, there will be no end to this lunacy. May be it is destiny, the fate of people born in south asia. May be the new technology will find out its own solution. But then there will be noi god neither the hindu god nor the muslim god. Let us wait for that day.. view of an athiest from mumbai
Javed Akhter Jan 29, 2013 05:50pm
You are worng Mr. writer! All the wars were started by Pakistan...our army like our text books were manipulated, most of writer like you also very far away from the fact!!! I feel so sad about our future when the writer like you of story make sense but aawam has no control in it as our army is top most priority and the reason why all false stories known in Pakistan is Bcoz of the our Army....they wants all luxeries and want this issues kept burning forever so their comfort would stay there.....
Rocky Jan 29, 2013 06:19pm
Pakistan was created out of an Islamic identity. Somehow and somewhere Pakistan assumed the mantle of a protector of Islam in the world before it could put its own house in order. As the author correctly pointed out, this holier than thou attitude came in the way of pragmatism. Anyway, baggage of history can be minimized by modern education of the youth. Sometimes, "free" money from ideological partner can cause more harm than good.
Indian man Jan 29, 2013 06:50pm
Writer is right . The Invaders enjoyed wealth of Subcontinent , some built palace like tomb for their wives , some killed brothers and fathers to gain throne . The masses who followed them only got the vain pride , while the other large masses were subjected to repression . Those invaders perished , but that vain pride hasn't come to halt now and it won't come to halt until reality opens their eyes.
abbas Jan 29, 2013 06:55pm
So pathetic, now we have to introduce our intellectuals in English as nation has given up hope on their national language Urdu. Sign of lazy nation and copy catters....
AHA Jan 30, 2013 11:40am
Maqbool Ahmed Jan 29, 2013 07:16pm
I will say; Wow; what a great article. Self criticism is the most difficult thing to do. Hats off to you Mr. Haider. Great job.
Chaman Jan 30, 2013 02:27pm
If you want to see the best communities of Muslims anywhere in the world, only two countries come to my mind. India and Turkey.
nasir khan Jan 29, 2013 11:51am
excellent article, every word has a meaning ,no body has portrayed our situation so well,I hope the emotionally charged Pkistanis will read this article with cool mind and will try to understand what message the writer want to convey. MR Mobarak hope we will see more of your articles soon .
vani Jan 30, 2013 11:34am
Nice and rational article. Only healthy mind and righteous intellect can save the humanity, not the negative emotins, blind religious or wild national sentiments.
Mustafa Jan 29, 2013 09:59pm
Excellent article but unfortunately, even millions of excellent article will change the current situation of Muslims in the world, specially the Muslims of Pakistan. The worst enemies of "true Islam" are the clergy and Mullas of Islam. They have absolutely no fear of Allah or love for mankind. They are just against the teachings for love of all human beings as stated in the Holy Quran and as stated by the Holy Prophet. We have reached a dead end and there is no way out. May Allah perform a Miracle.
AHA Jan 30, 2013 01:04pm
And we lived happily ever after in our state of denial.
Cyrus Howell Jan 30, 2013 02:59pm
The fault with the mullahs is that their ideas are too simplistic to order a modern industrial and progressive society.
Lalat Jan 30, 2013 03:00pm
Dear Rukshana behen, I think everything is not lost yet. Till thinkers/ writers like Mr. Haider, Mr. Irfan Hussain, NFP are there and Dawn is there to publish their wonderful articles full of insights one day or other there will be a definite change. Only problem is that their articles to be brought to the ordinary mass. I already see the light at the end of the tunnel. Lalat
Cyrus Howell Jan 30, 2013 03:01pm
"This article really touches heart. Hope sense prevails." I'm afraid that is asking too much.
Imran Jan 30, 2013 03:15pm
Your Home Minister has clearly mentioned that Hindu terrorists exist but you deny that. While this author's views are set in stone in your opinion.
Cyrus Howell Jan 30, 2013 03:21pm
Self criticism seems to be inversely proportional to self love.
Cyrus Howell Jan 30, 2013 03:28pm
Everyone on earth needs English as a second language in the 21rst century. The lazy ones are those who do not learn it.
Mansi Jan 30, 2013 03:58pm
Bravo, I hope your tribe increases. I do not want to go right wing Hindu, but I see the craziness and total lack of rationalism on the other side that makes me want keep my weapons sharp. It is very encouraging to see such thoughts of introspection.
Cyrus Howell Jan 30, 2013 04:08pm
At war with yourselves is not just a phrase. People are being gunned down in the streets. All should worry Pakistan does not become Syria.
Zimbo_Indian Jan 30, 2013 04:15pm
....... However, Pakistanis will never allow it to happen.
Faqir Ipi Jan 30, 2013 04:19pm
"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Gen Hermann Goering - Nuremberg Diary (Farrar, Straus & Co 1947), by Gustave Gilbert (an Allied appointed psychologist)
Faqir Ipi Jan 30, 2013 04:24pm
Waziritan has been made the real big bazaar and virtual laboratory of the global arms /drone industry. Most of us are not familiar with the real colonial history of the Waziristan and the clever, petty games Western colonial powers and their puppets in Kabul, Greater Mardan, Peshawar, Islamabad and Pindi have played to exploit it in every possible way. Major reason that the masses and world polity don
Zimbo_Indian Jan 30, 2013 04:31pm
True, there is tremendous hatred in India against Pakistan. It is the result of historical animosity between Hindus and Muslims. Hindus view Muslims as tyrants and butchers while Muslims see Hindus as weaklings over whom they ruled for centuries. Most Muslims in the subcontinent have Hindu ancestors who were more often than not forced to convert to avoid persecution. Muslims of today (particularly Pakistanis), as a community, may have a subconcious urge to justify the decision of their ancestors by trying to prove the superiority of Muslims over Hindus. But facts fly in their face. India is an emerging economic superpower growing at 6 - 8 % per annum while Pakistan is wallowing in poverty and backwardness with 3 - 4 % GDP growth. India is seen as a challenger to China in economic and strategic terms while Pakistan is seen as the mecca of global terrorism and is hyphenated with Afghanistan. India aspires to a permanent seat in UN Security Council while Pakistan is satisfied with just blocking India's efforts. So, please, for a minute, just forget you Pakistani and Islamic identities and then read the article to see the truth written therein.
Nauman Jan 30, 2013 04:32pm
Hi ... good point but one thing ... it shouldnt discuss all the issues of historical back ground but should look towards future solution with conceptual parameters under current circumstances .... i know one should know the history for solution but keeping respect to mutual parameters and flexibility of acceptance and then moving into right direction with co-existance based on sharing can result in development of relationship and ideas with beauty of companion ship and most important of all, great friends as neighbors for each other.
Zimbo_Indian Jan 30, 2013 04:35pm
Very true. Mullahs don't operate in a vacuum.
Krish Chennai Jan 30, 2013 04:50pm
Rather think the division is artificial, and cannot sustain.
pk surendran Jan 30, 2013 05:15pm
Hi Haider, at last an honest appraisal. This was precisely the question I have often asked others. why does the world hate Islam? does anywhere Islam lives in peace with others? No. if it is not hindus, it is jews, if it is not jews, it is christians or Budhists in Burma. Pray why are there not many like this author in Pak. that is why the mullas rule. raise and fight for your rights brothers! then see the sea-change
Pankaj Patel(USA) Jan 30, 2013 05:22pm
Very nice article but too late for Pakistan,to change people's attitude and mind set it takes centuries.The culture is destroyed, it takes centuries to evolve.Imitating other language and culture do not bring self respect. As for the defense expense India will have to spend,not to fight any one but to defend against other super powers.There is none other then India in south Asia which can defend the region.With out strong India we will be like Africa where all big and mighty will exploit.There is no tendency in India to control any other country.Today we see many in Pakistan talking about winning India but none in India.
AHA Jan 30, 2013 11:39am
I agree. Open debate is never possible in religion. But it is always possible in humanity. I am hoping we will be able to see ourselves as humans first.
Cyrus Howell Jan 30, 2013 02:32pm
Akaula Jan 30, 2013 06:22pm
The word secularism was not in Indian constitution in 1947, the time you agree India took the direction of healing. If at all anything this insertion by semi educated Indira Gandhi, who along with most Indians do not understand this term, has been the source of violence in India. To understand that please understand what secularism means and how it is incompatible with Indian ethos.
Akaula Jan 30, 2013 06:34pm
Civilizations step in to future with strength it musters in the present, but with the confidence, that arises from the past. If you annihilate your past for some myopic reasons, you will annihilate that confidence and the courage to chart the future.
himesh Jan 30, 2013 07:03pm
excellent master piece of article. Author able to reflect the fact . Its now high time for people to understand to bring prosperity in Pakistan.
Feroz Jan 31, 2013 10:11am
As an Indian I share your views. Indian Muslims have lived together with people of diverse religions, cultures and ethnicities to realize the true value of diversity and the oneness of humanism. In fact Indian Muslims are well placed to show the true liberal, all embracing and Peaceful face of Islam to the world, not the bigoted and violent one being currently portrayed by some misled followers. India is really strong because of its tolerance and acceptance of its diversity -- like a great culinary dish that needs many ingredients to make it outstanding.
Vinay Jan 30, 2013 07:20pm
Narcissism at display! The author is right!!
Mahesh Jan 30, 2013 09:14pm
Salute to the Author for showing courage and guts to hold a crystal clear mirror before a society which basically creation of some egoistic politicians and srude British. It is unfortunate that Pakistan never got a leader with wisdom and ability to convince their people to give up wrong thinking and followings. To realise the reality is a wisdom in itself.
Hassan Jan 30, 2013 10:26pm
I completely agree with you Krishna. Now the time has come that Pakistan will throw away all the trash to a place where it belongs and make good people sit in high positions. Our people have learnt alot through hardships specially during the last 5 years and after these upcoming elections you will see a good govt in Pakistan. A govt that will try to make Pakistan a better place for everyone. India and Pakistan are twins and I think every sensible nation would want to have excellent relations with their neighbors specially when they share a common past. We all make mistakes the important thing is to realize and not to repeat .
Akil Akhtar Jan 30, 2013 10:47pm
watch their media and political leaders and tehn say that they do not....
Akil Akhtar Jan 30, 2013 10:50pm
What did you do to build Pakistan you must ask first before giving up on somthing we all probably did not do anythign for any way.
Akil Akhtar Jan 30, 2013 10:54pm
Would like the indians to practice what they preach us. But in you country if Shah Rukh says he has problems in india being a Muslim some time the whole indian media and fanatic politicians (which is almost all of them) came down on him like ton of bricks. Did not see any introspection.
Akil Akhtar Jan 30, 2013 10:59pm
well said, it seems all our leaders and intellectuals are for sale to the highest bidder and Pakistan always looses.
Akil Akhtar Jan 30, 2013 11:04pm
The level of hatred being mentioned is mostly coming from across the border and they have a lot of influence in the world. What have we done to the west compared to what they are doing to us that they would/should hate us so much.
kt Jan 30, 2013 11:09pm
And also screwed royally time and again and again and again by the whole world, isn't it?
kt Jan 30, 2013 11:32pm
You read history of any country, weak nations were always conquered by power nations. If we and Pakistan were friends, it might be possible that China would be archenemy or somebody else. So it is necessary for any country to have powerful Army, Navy and Air force. History also teaches us lesson but you have forgot to note that, if we had be powerful enough in last 1000 years, we wouldn't have been defeated by Muslims and English and ruled for so long. It was Shivaji and Guru Nanak, who fought if you are poor doesn't mean that you should not have powerful army...This is also true for animals, weak becomes easy pray for predator. So no matter how poor you are, you must have powerful army to save you sovereignty. .
kt Jan 30, 2013 11:38pm
Sandip, you need to check your knowledge on economics first...we haven't bagged for money in last 20 years although we have enormous poverty. For your knowledge, India's CRR is more 300 Billion. You are not in country so you still have same image of what you have seen in childhood. Now US, British, French leaders come to us to get need make the reality check first..
abbastoronto Jan 31, 2013 12:55am
Capt. Sahib: AOA A Mohammedan can never be a Mullah. A Muslim can be. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Wassalam
wali lasi Jan 31, 2013 09:06am
very nice....
Syed Jan 31, 2013 08:50am
For our fellow loving indian commentators, everything that criticises Pakistan, no matter how unfair it is, is truth and purity and balanced and unbiased. On the contrary, any small bit of positive news, even if it is about a growing shipbreaking industry in Pakistan, is absurdity, wrong statistics, trivial achievement etc.
pakistani baloch Jan 30, 2013 10:22am
very biased piece not a single word against america israel or india for that matter very unfair mr writer it takes two to tango
NAVNEET Jan 30, 2013 01:40pm
Sorry Dude, I dont agree with your views or say way of saying.... i find every word of this article true to purity. you tell me.... whats that in this article which is not true for pakistan
Cyrus Howell Jan 30, 2013 02:05pm
People are better off with religion than without it. However religions are codes of conduct that do not really solve external human problems. Religion helps us manage our personal problems.
Cyrus Howell Jan 30, 2013 02:10pm
What does Pakistan have to do with Israel? Are there not enough problems in Pakistan to be solved? Isn't that American's problem, not being able to mind it's own business?
Cyrus Howell Jan 30, 2013 02:12pm
Change is always forthcoming. The problem is that it does not always go our way.
Cyrus Howell Jan 30, 2013 02:15pm
"All this innocence monger-ring by our media and text books." From an outsider's point of view this is why Pakistanis annoy others. Even serial killers want others to think they are nice guys.
Cyrus Howell Jan 30, 2013 02:39pm
When I lived in China, (1995-1997) and people were obeying the one child per family dictum, many ordinary Chinese men on the street asked me the same question, "How long do you think it will be before we catch up to the West?" That was their focus. The operative word is focus. The question then is what is the focus of Pakistan's man on the street?
Cyrus Howell Jan 30, 2013 02:42pm
Azmat, Hope is not the answer. Hope is the definition of inaction. The key word is sacrifice. What is everyone willing to give?
gary Jan 30, 2013 12:33pm
A dalit professor has written a book WHY I AM NOT A HINDU. He was not killed or beaten, rather he was invited to TV discussion. That is the tolerance of the hindus. Can you imagine a muslim writing a book WHY I AM NOT A MUSLIM. He will be shot by the followers of the religion of peace.
Akram Jan 30, 2013 08:28am
Great Bill, now can you enlighten us why Amercians are so hated?
Akram Jan 30, 2013 08:34am
One more "balanced and unbiased" article that our Indian friends love to read. Till the next reality check comes up, when it'll be more of the same Pak bashing again.
a.k.lal Jan 31, 2013 05:24am
very good analysis
Ali Jan 31, 2013 06:08am
"it is nothing short of astonishing to see the DEVELOPMENT that has taken place" Seems like you have the ability to see the un-visible. May I ask, what astonishing developments do you see besides McDonalds, KFC, TGIF, Starbucks, Mr. Donut etc.
B. Ally Jan 31, 2013 06:26am
In our case we provoke by our self rightieous behaviour instilled into us by a very heavy doze of religion. Ever one else is wrong and we are the only one always right. we are a non entity in the comity of nations. if we will not learn to live in peace with others we are doomed into self oimposed solitary cofinement.
AHA Jan 30, 2013 11:44am
Liked your post.
aviratam Jan 30, 2013 07:13am
The definition of an intellectual is one who has the courage of his beliefs. In several articles, Mr. Haider has not been afraid to question existing mindsets and told us what he thinks. It is time to stop the farce of retired generals and diplomats meeting for so-called track two diplomacy (which has produced nothing), and instead get intellectuals on both sides of the border to sit down and look at the myriad of questions we always wanted to ask but never had the courage to. This should be the start of clearing some cobwebs on BOTH sides of the border.
AHA Jan 30, 2013 11:50am
I guess you have not meet the Pakistanis on the Wall Street and the Bay Street.
AHA Jan 30, 2013 11:51am
We adopted the doctrine of hate somewhere along the road. Have been paying the price ever since.
Pradeep Jan 30, 2013 11:11am
Simply a masterpiece. The author succeeded in conveying the whole message (the ills of present society) in a very concise and effective manner. I sincerely hope it does reach the intended audience and change is forthcoming.
Dixit Jan 30, 2013 06:49am
When you cannot differentiate between State & Religion you come across this kind of situation. Nevertheless, the writer has chosen correct word "narcissim" to explain the state of mind of people.
AHA Jan 30, 2013 11:55am
Bashing - exactly what you did in your post.
Bijay Jan 30, 2013 05:56am
Sir. I don't know what to reply. May be I am wrong, but I have learnt that open debate can not be possible when minds are closed with orthodox religious thoughts.
AHA Jan 30, 2013 11:58am
Why don't we just put our own house in order. Why care about India.
Bijay Jan 30, 2013 05:51am
Ok cherry picking started. Author has clearly mentioned that this phenomena started form 1947. but still the same cherry pick. long way to go. he he.
Bijay Jan 30, 2013 05:53am
Shama. Nothing will change if you do not change yourself and your family, your daughters and son. That is what I have learnt in hard way. I am a teacher and I am doing this in India. God bless you.
kanchi Jan 30, 2013 05:54am
keep the articles from Mr. Haider comming
Bijay Jan 30, 2013 05:55am
It is not going to happen sir.
Bijay Jan 30, 2013 05:48am
Thank you very much sir. Thank you very much. May your god bless you.
Shankar Bandyopadhay Jan 30, 2013 05:36am
Very well written.article. Very courageous and introspective. I would like to add one more point..I dont think the Muslims of this subcontinent takes into recognition that India is the only society which successfully resisted Islam. Hindus (Jains/Buddhists) by and large refused to accept islam even though their Kings suffered defeat in war. So even though Islam had temporary political victory the spiritual victory remained minimal/marginal. Thats why the subcontinet is by and large non-muslim even till today. The situation is entirely different in Persian and Byzantine where Islam was 'accepted' within matters of a life time. By now the Islamist should realise that waging war on Hindus will not necessary mean a victory for Islam. Perhaps It will be a political victory but never a spiritual victory.I think the Hindus have successfuly proved this point over the last 700 years.
Krishna Jan 30, 2013 05:41am
"Although for several reasons we in Pakistan refuse to see, the fact is that India started its recovery only after 1947, Bangladesh only after 1971 while we have yet to start". Mr. Mobarak Haider this is1000% true. Although the demand for Pakistan was justified during independence because of the 'huge volume of muslims', but that demand has been hijacked by zamindars and jagirdars. India was lucky to have leaders like Gandhi, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Sardar Vallabhai patel etc who beleived in secularism, democracy, equal rights, woman rights, socialism, progressive and liberal ideas. Pakistan was unlucky that they had leaders who were actually zamindars/jagirdars who didn't want to lose their authority over the masses and had they joined India they would have lost that authority (because of land reforms). These zamindars have used army for their own benefits and never allowed democracy to flourish.
Azrim Jan 30, 2013 05:33am
Commendable and bold article indeed, my compliments to the Pakistani author. Issues you highlight are not unique to Pakistan or its people but these are common world-over at different phases of any country's development. It is a good that Pakistanis are at war with themselves as that will push them to find solutions. Historically many nations went through such phases in their own way. You as an author this interesting article, are a product of such evolution. As a foreigner visiting Pakistan and knowing the country did not inherit much in any way or form post independence, it is nothing short of astonishing to see the development that has taken place.
Arup Saha Jan 30, 2013 05:21am
"The total resources spent by both amount to a sum that could have brought us to modern European levels of life and learning, had we spent them productively." - This is the part I like most. Overall an excellent article.
AHA Jan 30, 2013 12:02pm
I would not hold my breath for a Miracle either. The Mullahs are there because there is a 'market' for them. Cut off that market. Bring the religion back to our hearts.
suleman Jan 30, 2013 04:29am
"Admitted that it is our special ability as humans that we conduct mass destruction; this special ability is a tragic aspect of our mind but that same mind is capable of science, wisdom, tolerance and inclusiveness. " Absolutely right! Humans are designed/created/evolved in a way that allows for constant upgradation. This single unique feature of human beings is enough for us to hope and work for change...
pathanoo Jan 30, 2013 04:02am
BRAVO!!!! Some one finally put the finger on the nerve........PRECISELY.
Aaron Jan 30, 2013 04:05am
Pakistan has great geography and natural resources. It had very potential to be a prosperous and powerful country. However...
Azmat Jan 30, 2013 04:09am
Mr Mubarak, we need more from you, perhaps some message of hope or the way forward.. how to popularize introspection in the society or how we begin to accept constructive criticism.... I hope the urdu press in Pakistan is also benefitting from authors & social thinkers like you..
A peace loving human being Jan 30, 2013 11:36am
God helps those who help themselves. God almighty has given all human beings the same strengths and its up to us as individuals and groups of people to use our faculties for the betterment of ourselves and others or we may opt for the destruction purposes. As the saying goes " Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala - Bura Na Miliya Koi. Jo Munn Dhoonda Aapna Mujh Sa Bura Na Koi". There is nothing wrong about self analyses, finding the shortcoming and then to work for making improvements. May God bless all those who love his creation and all his creatures. Its a knocker on the head type article and his efforts would not go waste, if even a single person wants to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
hitesh Jan 30, 2013 03:27am
fantastic ! straight forward ! without any sarcasm ! Hope people understand it and try to reconcile with History as Upper caste Hindu trying with it Lower cast brethren.
roquefort Jan 30, 2013 03:35am
There is no place for democracy with Islam or Sharia.Stop fooling yourself if u know the definitions.
AHA Jan 30, 2013 12:03pm
I agree. But my question is: Can a religion, any religion, do anything else?
Sandip Jan 30, 2013 03:22am
I think on both sides of border people are at war with themselves. On India side that war has been sideline with economic progress which allows people to look forward. When I was in India I always thought we were the best in the world. But still we were begging for money. How can we be the best if we can't feed our own people.
Akil Akhtar Jan 30, 2013 03:24am
It is not always our fault either, India US have played their part in many of the problems we face as well. Just watch or read any indian news and you will see the senseless hatred towards Pakistan. We have a lot of ills and faults but others are not angels. This slave mentality is a major cause of disrespect for Pakistan, try criticising india and see how they attack you. The article is extremely biased and deviod of the reality which is somewher in the middle of what we think and what the indians want us to believe which this article seems to be regurgitating.
B R Chawla Jan 30, 2013 03:07am
Introspection is the best remedy for ailing minds. An honest analysis is the sure cure. Congradulations Pakistan for having intellectuals like Mubarak Hyder still living on your soil. Most of such independent thinkers from Pakistan have already migrated. Listen to such honest voices if you were to alleviate the sufferings of the masses at large. Chawla
Cyrus Howell Jan 30, 2013 02:21pm
It is not so much about intellectuals who have the courage of their beliefs, it is about more ordinary men driven by uncompromising integrity who cannot be bought for any price.
Wah Qadoo Wah Jan 30, 2013 02:59am
Great Article by a thoughtful person. I dare the Urdu Print Media to print such bold but true analysis.
shiva Jan 30, 2013 03:06am
Brilliant analytical piece - gem that covers such wide scope, yet with laser-like precision. No words wasted. Enjoyed the beautiful Urdu audio translation - even though I couldn't have understood all of the chaste Urdu without having read the article! Every country, society and religious community benefits from clear-headed introspection to correct/improve itself.
Sriram Jan 30, 2013 08:03am
"Indian Muslim", hats off to you. May you tribe increase and prosper in India.
sham Jan 30, 2013 02:52am
Sunni Muslims strongly believe that the collective wisdom of Sunni Muslims cannot be wrong. This fact has been studied and acknowledged by the scholars who have studied Sunni Islam and its belief systems. Such collective wisdom can easily be manipulated and channeled into a destructive force as we see today.
Jeff Jan 30, 2013 02:31am
What a beautiful article! Well written and thanks for bringing the thought upfront.
Rozenberg Jan 30, 2013 02:15am
simply excellent!
RPK Jan 30, 2013 02:17am
Whats pride in Hindu history! Be a literate Hindu, google Gauri, Abdali, Temur etc. and see what pride a Hindu can have. Of course, today's Hindu, has left the history behind, and is moving forward and so also some of the Indian muslims.
Sunny Jan 30, 2013 01:35am
The author is showing the mirror. Society is nothing but a bunch of humans and their actions. If this article can bring about change in at least one person then there is hope for the 'society'
Wasif Jan 30, 2013 10:52am
Brilliant piece. All this innocence monger-ring by our media and text books. As such all nations and governments/establishments involve themselves in some form of this behaviour but in Pakistan we have made this into a vocation. the result is quite debilitating yet comical - we have achieved the status of the best excuse makers in the world. someone else is always at fault for us. let's hope we are able to snap out of this dementia soon
abbastoronto Jan 30, 2013 12:01am
Capt Sahib: AOA Mayoosi gunah hey.
waqi Jan 30, 2013 12:08am
nice article..keep up the good work
Vijay Jan 30, 2013 12:15am
Only thing I can add to this EXCELLENT article is that the mind that envisioned the problem can not resolve it. It needs another mind to find a solution. I hope and pray to God to deliver the realization to my Pakistani brothers and sisters; otherwise nature will devise a more brutal path to TRUTH!
Rao Jan 30, 2013 12:27am
Nothing but blame game......Forget about what has happened....Make a fresh start
Capt C M Khan Jan 30, 2013 10:32am you sound like another Mullah......Gunnah or Swaab....Spade must be called a Spade....that is the way forward and that is what will bring the CHANGE.
Satyameva Jayate Jan 29, 2013 11:08pm
Very well written. Not one comment in disagreement!
shri Jan 29, 2013 11:01pm
Sir, you are gem as human being and great courageous writing. I really worry about your safety in your land where saying anything against religion is dealt with extreme . People will not accept hard facts outlined by you. Keep yourself safe please.....
emory Jan 29, 2013 10:32pm
May a million Mubarak Haiders bloom in Pakistan. Peace be with you my friend.
Irony Jan 29, 2013 08:49pm
Awesome article...
Tahir Jan 29, 2013 08:54pm
"The professional Muslim Ulema of Pakistan have influenced our thinking so much that we see everything in religious terms." Exactly. And the religious terms are intolerance, hatred, barbarism, bigotry, lack of foresight into science, technology, social, welfare, economic reforms.
Amit Jan 29, 2013 09:07pm
This article really touches heart. Hope sense prevails.